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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Letter to the Editor: Police Commission needs to step in on taser issue and test stun guns

December 13, 2008
Owen Sound Sun Times


There is an old saying : "None are so blind as those who WILL not see." One need only look as far as Owen Sound Police Chief Tom Kaye for a prime example. No sooner had an unbiased CBC study of Tasers come out that indicated older models often fire overcharged voltage, than Kaye was out defending Tasers once again, including Owen Sound's older models which were the subject of the study. He stubbornly refuses to test this city's Tasers. So what is wrong with this man? It's one thing to adhere to one's belief, but to do it blindly is sheer folly.

All B. C. law enforcement agencies and its RCMP, the N. B. police forces, and many other municipalities think testing is a good idea. One can only wonder if Kaye is totally unmonitored by the Police Commission in this city -- where are they on this issue?

For Kaye to suggest that there has not even been a "casual" relationship between the deaths of 25 Canadians after Tasering is blind pig-headed nonsense, to put it bluntly.

To accuse myself and others of relying on emotion and compassion is self-delusional on his part, not that I mind being tarred with the brush of compassion. By the way, tell that to the widows and children of those who died after being Tasered, be it from excited delirium or not.

The fact of the matter is, without the Taser, and with common sense and some psychology, these deceased would still be alive today, and probably getting help for their problems, or be incarcerated if that is applicable.

It is well time that Chief Kaye opens his eyes. We are not some deep southern backwater and we do not appreciate being treated as such. I urge the Owen Sound Police Commission to sit down and talk to Chief Kaye about close-mindedness and willngness to listen to the opinions and advice of others -- be they cops or JUST civilians. Who knows, he might just see the light.

Tim Thompson

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